The Crimson White: Justice Edition, February 2021

Injustice is not a thing of the past. Turning a blind eye allows it to persist. In this month’s special edition, The Crimson White explores the fight for justice on campus and in Tuscaloosa.

Injustice is not a thing of the past. Turning a blind eye allows it to persist. In this month’s special edition, The Crimson White explores the fight for justice on campus and in Tuscaloosa.


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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2022<br />


CW / Autumn Williams<br />

Injustice is not a thing of the past. Turning a blind eye allows it<br />

to persist. In this month’s special edition, <strong>The</strong> <strong>Crimson</strong> <strong>White</strong><br />

explores the fight for justice on campus and in Tuscaloosa.<br />

Activism and injustice in the Tuscaloosa community<br />



Almost two years after the murder<br />

of George Floyd ignited widespread<br />

discussion about race and injustice,<br />

these discussions have evolved into<br />

moves toward change.<br />

Campus<br />

“It [Black Lives Matter] reminded<br />

people that we ... must always<br />

be engaging in advocacy for our<br />

issues, that we can’t ever breathe<br />

a sigh of relief and think it’s<br />

over,” said Cassandra Simon, an<br />

associate professor and the vice<br />

president of the Black Faculty and<br />

Staff Association.<br />

<strong>The</strong> BLM protests contributed<br />

to the Black Faculty and Staff<br />

Association’s current activism and<br />

advocacy and brought renewed<br />

attention to social issues affecting<br />

people of color.<br />

BFSA has always been dedicated<br />

to creating social change and calling<br />

for racial equality at the University<br />

while also creating a welcoming<br />

space for Black students. Since<br />

the summer of 2020, however, the<br />

organization has engaged in more<br />

activism and advocacy and has seen<br />

greater involvement from members<br />

of the UA community, including<br />

faculty, students and staff.<br />

In November <strong>2021</strong>, <strong>The</strong><br />

University of Alabama dedicated<br />

Wade Hall in honor of Archie Wade,<br />

the first Black faculty member at the<br />

University. BFSA advocated heavily<br />

for the rededication of the building,<br />

formerly known as Moore Hall, in<br />

honor of Wade, a founding member<br />

of BFSA.<br />

“We’ve let people know that<br />

BFSA is not just about activism<br />

and advocacy for just Black people.<br />

It is about truly trying to create an<br />

equitable kind of environment for<br />

everybody,” Simon said.<br />

BLM did not bypass the University,<br />

and BFSA responded to the best<br />

of its ability, as the COVID-19<br />

pandemic forced the organization<br />

to go virtual. Discussions of social<br />

issues and programs honoring Black<br />

student achievements were relocated<br />

to Zoom to protect all members<br />

of the community. Recordings of<br />

Zoom sessions are still accessible<br />

through the BFSA website.<br />

Outside of those events, BFSA<br />

meets its goals through programs<br />

and events, such as professional<br />

development days, the Nyansapo<br />

Kente robing ceremony, and a<br />

welcome reception for new students<br />

in the fall. BFSA hosts speakers and<br />

the 2022 Wakanda Scholarship Ball,<br />

scheduled for Feb. 5.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> organization’s goals are to<br />

provide an equitable educational<br />

experience ... for Black Americans at<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama, as well<br />

as help the University understand<br />

the needs of its Black faculty, staff<br />

and students,” Simon said.<br />

Tuscaloosa<br />

Tuscaloosa Action, a local<br />

group with the goal of promoting<br />

progressive voices in West Alabama,<br />

was created in summer 2020.<br />

Tuscaloosa Action member Emily<br />

Altman said they got involved with<br />

T-Town Freedom Marchers that<br />

summer and marched every week<br />

for 30 weeks straight. <strong>The</strong>y marched<br />

for BLM and voting rights.<br />

<strong>The</strong> group asked themselves:<br />

“Other than marching, what can<br />

we do?”<br />

Despite the initial rush for justice<br />

following the death of George Floyd<br />

and the protests of 2020, Altman<br />

has noticed waning involvement as<br />

time continues.<br />

“I think there’s some people who<br />

got really involved during that<br />

time who are still involved, but I<br />

also think that big mass movement<br />

has receded a lot,” Altman said. “If<br />

you’re marching for something, or<br />

emailing for something, or posting<br />

about something, and it doesn’t<br />

affect you or the people right around<br />

you every day, it’s really easy to be<br />

like, ‘Well, that was good, we did<br />

that,” but not knowing that it’s still<br />

here, and it’s still every day, and it’s<br />

still like a slog journey to try to get<br />

it fixed.<br />

Tuscaloosa Action has been<br />

disseminating information and<br />

working toward a fair outcome<br />

regarding voter redistricting as<br />

well. Due to the shift in Tuscaloosa’s<br />

demographics, it is now a minoritymajority<br />

city, though Altman<br />

explained that is not how the city is<br />

represented in either the district or<br />

the city council.<br />

Altman said the statewide<br />

redistricting ended up not<br />

representing the people of Alabama.<br />

“Tuscaloosa is a minoritymajority<br />

city now,” Altman said. “It’s<br />

52% Black ... and this is the map<br />

they’re voting on that’s going to be<br />

the map for the next 10 years ...<br />

SEE PAGE 4A<br />


4A<br />

A<br />

NEWS<br />

new campus group<br />

is educating students<br />

about Alabama’s<br />

prison system<br />

2B<br />


<strong>The</strong> universities<br />

outwardly<br />

progressive acts<br />

are performative<br />

6B<br />

SPORTS<br />

Athletes can be<br />

activists through<br />

name, image, and<br />

likeness policies<br />




For complete information and to apply, visit sheltonstate.edu/scholarships.<br />

DEADLINE MARCH 1, 2022<br />

*Students must be conditionally admitted to Shelton State to apply for scholarships.It is the policy of the Alabama Community<br />

College System Board of Trustees and Shelton State Community College, a postsecondary institution under its control, that no<br />

person shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, marital status, disability, gender, age, or any other protected<br />

class as defined by federal and state law, be excluded from participation, denied benefits, or subjected to discrimination under<br />

any program, activity, or employment.

2A<br />


editor-in-chief<br />

managing editor<br />

engagement editor<br />

chief copy editor<br />

opinions editor<br />

news editor<br />

assistant news editor<br />

culture editor<br />

assistant culture editor<br />

sports editor<br />

assistant sports editor<br />

chief page editor<br />

chief graphics editor<br />

photo editor<br />

assistant photo editor<br />

multimedia editor<br />

Keely Brewer<br />

editor@cw.ua.edu<br />

Bhavana Ravala<br />

managingeditor@cw.ua.edu<br />

Garrett Kennedy<br />

engagement@cw.ua.edu<br />

Jack Maurer<br />

Ava Fisher<br />

letters@cw.ua.edu<br />

Zach Johnson<br />

newsdesk@cw.ua.edu<br />

Isabel Hope<br />

Jeffrey Kelly<br />

culture@cw.ua.edu<br />

Annabelle Blomeley<br />

Ashlee Woods<br />

sports@cw.ua.edu<br />

Robert Cortez<br />

Pearl Langley<br />

Autumn Williams<br />

Lexi Hall<br />

David Gray<br />

Alex Miller<br />


creative services Alyssa Sons<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Crimson</strong> Wh is the community newspaper of<br />

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5<br />

Men’s<br />

basketball vs. 5<br />

Kentucky<br />

Coleman Coliseum<br />

7PM<br />

BFSA Wakanda<br />

Scholarship Ball<br />

Bryant Conference<br />

Center 6PM<br />


<strong>February</strong> 3, 2022<br />

ACROSS:<br />

1. Denny Chimes location<br />

5. Swedish pop group with<br />

<strong>2021</strong> album “Voyage”<br />

6. Word following “in-” or<br />

“home-”<br />

7. “I’m all ____”<br />

8. Brit’s behind<br />

DOWN:<br />

1. 2022 World Cup host<br />

nation<br />

2. Rides home from the<br />

Strip, perhaps<br />

3. Degrade<br />

4. West, to North?<br />

6. Location of an<br />

octopus’s garden, say<br />

For crossword answers see page 2B<br />

9<br />

Off-Campus<br />

Housing Fair<br />

UA Student Center<br />

Plaza 11AM<br />

Gymnastics<br />

11 “Power of Pink”<br />

vs. Georgia<br />

Coleman Coliseum<br />

6:30PM<br />

14<br />

Valentine’s<br />

Day<br />

CW / Wesley Picard<br />

20<br />

Honor Society<br />

Application Due<br />

Online<br />

11:59PM<br />

Business<br />

Career Fair<br />

23 23<br />

Coleman Coliseum<br />

10AM<br />

SOURCE<br />

Fundraising<br />

Workshop<br />

Online<br />

11AM<br />

24 Technical &<br />

Engineering<br />

Career Fair<br />

Coleman Coliseum<br />



<strong>February</strong> 3, 2022<br />

3A<br />

CW File<br />

OUR VIEW: Saban knows that silence is dangerous<br />


<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama cannot<br />

be separated from the state of Alabama.<br />

It cannot be separated from national<br />

conversations of justice. Any attempts<br />

to do so are dishonest. <strong>The</strong> University<br />

of Alabama ought to be a figure for<br />

active change through legislative<br />

action and political participation.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University cannot be divorced<br />

from public discourse because its<br />

own history is intertwined with the<br />

history of this nation. A walk around<br />

campus isn’t complete without seeing<br />

plaques that commemorate buildings’<br />

significance in the Civil War. Our<br />

university once served as a training<br />

ground for Confederate soldiers,<br />

so how can we pretend that it hasn’t<br />

played a role in the struggle for justice?<br />

When the University had to be forced<br />

to integrate after the ruling of Brown<br />

v. Board of Education, how can we<br />

reevaluate our role in upholding the<br />

experience of minority students?<br />

In the last few years, this country<br />

has been reevaluating the ways it views<br />

social justice. It is impossible for the<br />

University to remain silent in these<br />

conversations. As the state’s flagship<br />

university, it has a role in the state’s<br />

legacy. When it comes to matters of<br />

social change, the University has a<br />

unique position. It can use its influence<br />

to translate social change into actual<br />

policy. It can shatter stigma.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University’s participation in<br />

national movements matters, but what<br />

exactly is “the University”? Placing<br />

the responsibility of “justice” on<br />

the University relies on a vague and<br />

elusive measure of justice, achieved<br />

by a nameless and unidentifiable<br />

institution. To truly impact the<br />

community that surrounds us, the<br />

University’s efforts at social change<br />

must come from action by students,<br />

faculty and administration. It is easy<br />

for individuals to pawn off their<br />

responsibilities onto a nameless<br />

organization, but this attitude<br />

ignores the fact that all institutions<br />

are composed of individual people<br />

with beliefs, values and actions<br />

that inevitably influence the<br />

institution’s image.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University doesn’t need to be a<br />

faceless organization. Individuals with<br />

influence can uplift the institution<br />

and the community we interact with.<br />

Earlier this month, Nick Saban gained<br />

national attention for something other<br />

than winning a football game.<br />

<strong>The</strong> championship-winning coach<br />

was an instrumental co-signer in<br />

a letter to West Virginia Sen. Joe<br />

Manchin supporting the Freedom<br />

to Vote Act. <strong>The</strong> letter, co-signed by<br />

notable figures in sports, supported<br />

the bill and its “measures to provide<br />

voters with a range of opportunities<br />

to obtain and cast a lawful ballot,<br />

including robust in-person, early, and<br />

absentee voting options.”<br />

Saban’s involvement in the political<br />

sphere was criticized by the bill’s<br />

opponents. In a since-deleted tweet,<br />

Republican Rep. Ralph Norman of<br />

South Carolina said “Nick Saban<br />

should focus on winning National<br />

Championships instead of destroying<br />

our elections.”<br />

In a speech outside Foster<br />

Auditorium after participating in a<br />

Black Lives Matter march in 2020,<br />

Saban said, “Sports has always created<br />

a platform for social change. ... For<br />

each of us involved in sports, I think<br />

we have a responsibility and obligation<br />

to do that in a responsible way and use<br />

our platform in a positive way to try to<br />

create social change in positive ways.”<br />

Saban understands the truth of<br />

our collective responsibility. He is, in<br />

many ways, the face of this university.<br />

With such a position of influence,<br />

he has a responsibility to ensure that<br />

his image improves the community<br />

he represents.<br />

Taking action will inevitably invite<br />

scrutiny. But like Saban, we must be<br />

willing, as residents of Alabama and<br />

representatives of this university, to<br />

endure discomfort in the service of a<br />

greater cause.<br />

<strong>The</strong> actions of individuals like<br />

Saban are not just important in the<br />

sports world; they set a precedent<br />

for the mobilization of nonpolitical<br />

figures in pursuit of social change.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y have the potential to inspire<br />

university representatives at all levels<br />

to reconsider the role of academia and<br />

how it can be utilized to influence<br />

policy. Though the Freedom to Vote<br />

Act was ultimately not passed, Saban’s<br />

actions still matter; they change<br />

our perspective on what exactly<br />

entertainment is for.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University’s faculty members<br />

also play a role in upholding justice<br />

in the spheres they engage in and in<br />

the community as a whole. In the <strong>2021</strong><br />

Alabama legislative session, multiple<br />

bills banning the practice of critical<br />

race theory were proposed and passed.<br />

As a reaction, the Faculty Senate<br />

passed a resolution in opposition to<br />

the legislation, asserting that any bans<br />

on critical race theory are a concern<br />

to the cause of academic freedom. <strong>The</strong><br />

perspective of university faculty in the<br />

conversation of critical race theory is<br />

vastly important, as no one is more<br />

qualified to discuss the merits of any<br />

practice than those who teach it.<br />

This action by the Faculty<br />

Senate serves as an example of how<br />

university members may use their<br />

unique experience and knowledge to<br />

influence their community.<br />

Students are no different. Though<br />

we may not have the esteem of a<br />

degree or career yet, college students<br />

are community members in our<br />

own right. Our voices are powerful,<br />

and it’s up to us to use our voice<br />

toward change.<br />

As college students, we have the<br />

unique position of having the fresh<br />

perspective of our youth. We are savvy<br />

with social media. We know how<br />

to garner attention for an issue. We<br />

alongside other community members<br />

can change the world.<br />

Two years ago, in response to Gov.<br />

Kay Ivey’s proposal to lease two<br />

private mega-prisons in the state,<br />

the student group Alabama Students<br />

Against Prisons formed. Though the<br />

group originated over Zoom, in the<br />

midst of a pandemic, its members<br />

were still able to enact change.<br />

In December 2020, the group<br />

staged a protest at Regions Bank in<br />

Birmingham, urging the bank to divest<br />

from CoreCivic, one of the companies<br />

building the proposed megaprison.<br />

<strong>The</strong> students’ efforts were<br />

ultimately successful.<br />

This is the power that college<br />

students have. When united,<br />

motivated, and impassioned, we have<br />

the ability to see real change occur.<br />

We have the ability to make justice a<br />

reality rather than just an ideal.<br />

Achieving justice isn’t a simple<br />

endeavor. It is a quest that cannot<br />

ever be fully realized. This should<br />

not dissuade us from trying every<br />

day to be more aware of our place in<br />

the world. As part of the University,<br />

every member has a role in pursuing a<br />

better, more equitable community.<br />

From students to faculty to<br />

championship-winning coaches, we<br />

can all begin making this reality by<br />

simply acknowledging the fact that the<br />

University and the community that<br />

surrounds it are one and the same. We<br />

do not exist and learn in a vacuum. We<br />

are the face of the state of Alabama.<br />

We are a national institution.<br />

If our individual actions seem<br />

insignificant to us now, they will<br />

certainly leave a legacy behind. If<br />

this university is “where legends are<br />

made,” let’s ensure these are legacies<br />

worth reading.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Crimson</strong> <strong>White</strong> Editorial Board is composed of Editorin-Chief<br />

Keely Brewer, Managing Editor Bhavana Ravala,<br />

Engagement Editor Garrett Kennedy, Chief Copy Editor Jack<br />

Maurer and Opinions Editor Ava Fisher.

4A<br />


<strong>February</strong> 3, 2022<br />

Protestors march in downtown Tuscaloosa in summer 2020. CW File<br />


And our city council is not a<br />

minority-majority city council,<br />

and the map that they’re currently<br />

proposing does not allow for it to be.”<br />

Though she said Tuscaloosa still<br />

needs to be redistricted more fairly,<br />

Altman is happy that better statewide<br />

voting districts have come to fruition,<br />

and she is hopeful for the future<br />

of Alabama.<br />

“When I look at the people, again,<br />

who are working really, really hard to<br />

do good work, I am hopeful because<br />

I think more people are doing that<br />

than were previously,” Altman said.<br />

“I think also, though, that we need<br />

more people doing good. ... <strong>The</strong> best<br />

solution for fixing bad stuff is more<br />

people doing good, right? And so we<br />

just need more people doing good,<br />

and I think that it’s trending that way<br />

but obviously never as fast as you<br />

want it to be.”<br />

Altman said activism is not just<br />

fighting for what’s right.<br />

“I think one of the things that<br />

makes doing activism work and<br />

social justice work sustainable, is you<br />

find your people in it,” Altman said.<br />

“We need more people, but also I<br />

think people need to get involved in<br />

it because it’s something that sustains<br />

people too, right? It becomes a<br />

healing space.”<br />

Alabama<br />

Joyce Vance, the former U.S.<br />

attorney for the Northern District of<br />

Alabama and a current distinguished<br />

professor at <strong>The</strong> University of<br />

Alabama’s law school, said she made<br />

accountability in law enforcement a<br />

priority during her time in office.<br />

“When I was the U.S. Attorney,<br />

we aggressively investigated every<br />

instance of police misconduct that<br />

came to our attention and prosecuted<br />

whenever we had the evidence that<br />

made it feasible to prosecute, because<br />

... that should be one of the prime<br />

focuses for law enforcement. <strong>The</strong>re’s<br />

really nobody else who can protect us<br />

when the people who are supposed to<br />

protect us run amok, and so I view<br />

that as one of our top priorities,”<br />

Vance said.<br />

Vance said corruption in police<br />

departments is generally the<br />

exception, not the norm.<br />

“I think it’s important to say,<br />

though, most police officers honor<br />

their oath,” Vance said.<br />

<strong>The</strong> process of seeking out justice<br />

can be frustrating at times, but<br />

Vance said the system is designed to<br />

protect the innocent against wrongful<br />

incarceration.<br />

“We also have to be willing<br />

to engage in a due process that’s<br />

fair, even to criminal defendants,<br />

no matter what they’ve done,”<br />

Vance said.<br />

Vance recommended that everyday<br />

citizens educate themselves by<br />

reading some of the foundational<br />

documents that informed our early<br />

system, including the Federalist<br />

Papers and the Constitution, to<br />

form a view that isn’t based in<br />

reactionary politics.<br />

“We want to think in a way that<br />

transcends politics about justice,”<br />

Vance said.<br />

For those pursuing careers in law<br />

and politics, Vance said it’s important<br />

to remember that the desire for<br />

perfection must not stand in the way<br />

of working for a better society. This<br />

advice is something she remembers<br />

her former boss Deputy Attorney<br />

General James Cole giving often.<br />

<strong>The</strong> intersection of activism and<br />

mental health often comes up for<br />

those who want to work in law or<br />

just want to work on social justice<br />

platforms like Black Lives Matter.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is such an emphasis on meeting<br />

a goal that everything else becomes<br />

obsolete, including prioritizing<br />

mental health<br />

As the fight for equality pushes on,<br />

it is important to remember the toll<br />

it takes on Black people and people<br />

of color. <strong>The</strong> work is exhausting, and<br />

it is compounded with the fear and<br />

anger that come with having a system<br />

working against your every move.<br />

Hardships are internalized. <strong>The</strong><br />

way racial biases must be unlearned<br />

and unpacked is the same way racial<br />

trauma must be unpacked.<br />

<strong>The</strong> conversation in and of itself<br />

is a product of racism. Who gets to<br />

grieve and take time for themselves?<br />

<strong>The</strong> work being done in the name<br />

of activism and the people who can<br />

afford to take care of their mental<br />

health directly intersect with each<br />

other. Mental health is often seen as<br />

a taboo topic.<br />

In the Black community in<br />

particular, there is a stigma around<br />

mental health. It is seen as something<br />

that needs to be hidden rather than<br />

something that millions of people live<br />

with every day. That stigma goes hand<br />

in hand with the inequity of who gets<br />

therapy. <strong>The</strong> inequity is a byproduct<br />

of a broken system that puts Black<br />

people at a disadvantage in the same<br />

way police brutality does.<br />

<strong>The</strong> National Alliance on Mental<br />

Illness, or NAMI, has separate<br />

sections on its website dedicated<br />

to explaining how different<br />

marginalized communities handle<br />

mental health and trauma.<br />

As strides are being made for<br />

equality, taking care of mental wellbeing<br />

is key. Asking people how they<br />

are, uplifting them and offering help<br />

is just as important as being on the<br />

front lines for Black people.<br />

‘It does take a village’: How a new student<br />

organization is fighting the prison system<br />



Tide Against Time is a new<br />

organization dedicated to educating<br />

students about mass incarceration<br />

and the Alabama prison system.<br />

Kaila Pouncy, a junior on the prelaw<br />

track majoring in criminal justice<br />

and political science, worked on the<br />

idea for the organization over the last<br />

year and held the first meeting for<br />

Tide Against Time on Friday, Jan. 21,<br />

via Zoom.<br />

Pouncy said her advocacy against<br />

mass incarceration was spurred by<br />

an internship experience that allowed<br />

her to sit in on court proceedings.<br />

“I recently had a federal internship<br />

with a judge in Tuscaloosa this past<br />

summer,” she said. “And so he let us<br />

observe a lot of court proceedings,<br />

a lot of hearings. I immediately<br />

became very sensitive to the issues<br />

of the community, seeing the type<br />

of things that people go through on<br />

an individual basis, and how certain<br />

political and socioeconomic trends<br />

affect the lives of different people.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> United States’ incarcerated<br />

population has increased by 500%<br />

since 1970. Despite only making up<br />

around 5% of the world’s population,<br />

the U.S. is home to more than 20% of<br />

the world’s incarcerated population,<br />

according to the American Civil<br />

Liberties Union. In the state of<br />

Alabama, more than 46,000 people<br />

are incarcerated in either local jails or<br />

state and federal prisons.<br />

Pouncy said part of the creation<br />

of Tide Against Time was centered<br />

around creating a space for people<br />

of color and other minorities that<br />

are disproportionately affected by<br />

mass incarceration.<br />

“I felt like making this club at the<br />

University would be an amazing way<br />

to make people aware of those issues,<br />

and would give us a great opportunity<br />

to engage in service opportunities<br />

and advocacy opportunities that<br />

would give us the chance to touch<br />

people who have been impacted by<br />

the system,” Pouncy said.<br />

One in 3 Black boys and 1 in 6<br />

Latino boys can expect to go to prison<br />

in their lifetimes. One in 17 white<br />

boys face the same fate. Women are<br />

the fastest-growing incarcerated<br />

population in the U.S.<br />

Pouncy said she wants to bring<br />

attention to the issue of mass<br />

incarceration, educate individuals<br />

and make change in her community<br />

through the establishment of<br />

Tide Against Time. She hopes<br />

to organize projects to spread<br />

awareness in addition to organizing<br />

relevant, impactful service projects<br />

for students.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> mission of Tide Against Time<br />

at the University is really to educate<br />

students on the institution of mass<br />

incarceration in the American criminal<br />

justice system, and specifically to<br />

advocate for criminal justice reforms<br />

that promote education systems,<br />

health systems, systems of safety,<br />

rehabilitation, etc. within the prison<br />

system,” Pouncy said. “I feel like the<br />

overall goal of the organization is to<br />

strive to conquer these political and<br />

socioeconomic issues.”<br />

Tide Against Time shares similar<br />

motivations with another student<br />

group on campus, Alabama Students<br />

Against Prisons. ASAP was first<br />

established to represent student<br />

perspectives on incarceration and<br />

to protest Gov. Kay Ivey’s leasing of<br />

two new private, mega-prisons in the<br />

state, which will cost taxpayers $3<br />

billion over 30 years.<br />

Pouncy said it’s important to<br />

spread awareness about the range<br />

of incarceration issues that occur<br />

in Alabama, including increased<br />

prison expansion, COVID-19<br />

concerns, mental health issues and<br />

sexual assault.<br />

In 2018, Alabama prisons had a<br />

homicide rate 600% greater than the<br />

national average. Sexual abuse, drug<br />

overdoses, inadequate mental health<br />

treatment and uncontrollable violence<br />

have been reported in prisons across<br />

the state.<br />

In December 2020, the U.S.<br />

Department of <strong>Justice</strong> filed a lawsuit<br />

against the state of Alabama for the<br />

“unconstitutional conditions” in state<br />

prisons for men.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> United States Constitution<br />

requires Alabama to make sure that<br />

its prisons are safe and humane,”<br />

said Eric Dreiband, the assistant<br />

attorney general for the Department<br />

of <strong>Justice</strong> Civil Rights Division. “<strong>The</strong><br />

Department of <strong>Justice</strong> conducted a<br />

thorough investigation of Alabama’s<br />

prisons for men and determined<br />

that Alabama violated and is<br />

continuing to violate the Constitution<br />

because its prisons are riddled with<br />

prisoner-on-prisoner and guardon-prisoner<br />

violence. <strong>The</strong> violations<br />

have led to homicides, rapes, and<br />

serious injuries.”<br />

Pouncy said further expansions of<br />

unsafe prisons would be a mistake.<br />

“I feel like Alabama is making<br />

a really big mistake with prison<br />

funding,” Pouncy said. “Especially<br />

during the pandemic, the prisons,<br />

as well as the jails, are some of the<br />

least-safe places to be throughout<br />

this pandemic.”<br />

In October <strong>2021</strong>, Ivey signed a<br />

$1.3 billion prison construction bill.<br />

<strong>The</strong> bill allows the construction of<br />

at least two new prisons that will<br />

hold a combined 8,000 individuals.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Senate approved the use of<br />

$400 million in COVID-19 funds<br />

designed specifically for state and<br />

local governments to use for the<br />

prison expansion.<br />

Pouncy said Tide Against Time<br />

is open to any student interested in<br />

learning more about the Alabama<br />

prison system and mass incarceration.<br />

“It really warms my heart to see<br />

people on campus wanting to learn<br />

and willing to help and make their<br />

impact in this community,” Pouncy<br />

said. “It does take a village. I feel<br />

like the first step to conquering this<br />

problem on a wide scale is to be aware<br />

of what’s going on.”<br />

Courtesy of Tide Against Time

CW / Jo Dyess<br />


<strong>February</strong> 3, 2022<br />

Though restorative justice may have<br />

had its start in the criminal law system, the<br />

term has broadened to address society on<br />

a larger scale and encourage the reflection<br />

of our history to spark more thoughtful<br />

conversations and purposeful change.<br />

According to Edutopia, in the legal<br />

system, restorative justice emphasizes<br />

repairing the harm done to people and<br />

relationships by rehabilitating offenders<br />

and offering them a chance to reconcile<br />

with victims and the community rather<br />

than exclusively punishing them.<br />

Advocates for restorative justice today<br />

suggest policymakers should aim to make<br />

justice systems truly correctional. By<br />

supporting the rehabilitation of offenders<br />

and offering them access to higher<br />

education, the chance to heal relationships,<br />

and acceptance when transferring back<br />

into the community, advocates hope to<br />

achieve lower recidivism rates.<br />

Brenita Softley, a third-year UA law<br />

student, said restorative justice is about<br />

focusing on how people can be made<br />

whole again based on a justice system that<br />

is made to tear them down.<br />

“Giving the option of restorative<br />

justice can help heal on both parts, so I<br />

think that’s really important to look at,”<br />

Softley said.<br />

She said society needs to work on<br />

changing its implicit biases so that<br />

everyone can be seen as redeemable.<br />

I think part of the key<br />

is to imagine being an<br />

academic community<br />

in a different way,<br />

that means being ever<br />

more present and<br />

thoughtful of those<br />

that lived near us and<br />

around us, but aren’t<br />

necessarily part of our<br />

campus formally.<br />


“In order to do that, we really need to<br />

focus on changing the way people think,”<br />

Softley said.<br />

She hopes the criminal legal system<br />

today can start taking action toward<br />

rehabilitating offenders and opening up<br />

conversations that will lead to healing for<br />

every party in these situations.<br />

“I think it’s really important to study<br />

the law through a lens of history, but<br />

also study the law through a lens of<br />

compassion as well,” Softley said. “Rather<br />

than just labeling the person as a ‘monster,’<br />

or ‘unredeemable,’ restorative justice<br />

helps you to get past the things that<br />

you’ve done.”<br />

History<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama has a<br />

complex history, and professors on<br />

campus have been working to take a<br />

holistic approach to how its history is told.<br />

This has been done through historical<br />

markers that honor the history and<br />

Restorative justice rehabilitates<br />



experiences of Black students at the<br />

University. Hilary Green, an associate<br />

professor of history in the Department<br />

of Gender and Race Studies created the<br />

Hallowed Grounds walking tour in 2016<br />

“to shed light onto the lives, experiences<br />

and legacy of the many enslaved<br />

men, women and children who lived,<br />

worked and even died at the University<br />

of Alabama.”<br />

It is important that the University<br />

makes this progress a sustained effort.<br />

Jenny Shaw, an associate professor<br />

in the Department of History, said that<br />

in 2018 the Faculty Senate passed a<br />

resolution for the University to establish<br />

a formal commission to investigate the<br />

history of race, slavery and civil rights<br />

on campus.<br />

According to the proposal, the<br />

resolution’s purpose is to share the “rich<br />

and diverse history of UA from its slave<br />

past to its continued trajectory toward<br />

becoming a more diverse and inclusive<br />

campus since the first African American<br />

students enrolled.”<br />

“If we’re thinking about taking<br />

seriously the history of race, slavery and<br />

civil rights at <strong>The</strong> University of Alabama,<br />

the only way to do that is to look at all of<br />

it as holistically as possible,” Shaw said.<br />

“I don’t think that anything or anyone is<br />

benefited from turning away from things,<br />

or deciding that you don’t need to know<br />

the whole history.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> Faculty Senate said this<br />

commission would build on previous<br />

efforts such as the slavery apology marker,<br />

the Autherine Lucy Foster historical<br />

marker, and Malone-Hood Plaza, to<br />

continue its strides toward a more<br />

inclusive and diverse campus.<br />

“What I think is really important is<br />

that the whole process, and particularly<br />

the discoveries, are made as accessible as<br />

possible to anyone who wants to be able to<br />

see them,” Shaw said.<br />

This work will enable the team to<br />

create a website displaying the University’s<br />

research, documents and history. After the<br />

website launches, the University will also<br />

be able to join the Universities Studying<br />

Slavery consortium, a multi-institutional<br />

collaboration focused on guiding truthtelling<br />

projects in institutional histories.<br />

“It’s a very first step, but if it’s a step<br />

that leads to better, more productive<br />

conversations and then potentially and<br />

eventually some kind of action, that I<br />

think is what anyone would hope for in<br />

this kind of scenario,” Shaw said.<br />

responsibility for their actions.<br />

Taylor highlighted how restorative<br />

justice can inspire the ways people look<br />

at movement and change. For it to be<br />

implemented correctly, there must be full<br />

participation and authentic conversations.<br />

“One of the biggest things that is<br />

missing from the justice conversation<br />

today is courage,” Taylor said. “I think<br />

people probably see a whole lot of stuff<br />

every day and hear a lot of stuff every day,<br />

but do they have the courage to disrupt<br />

that behavior?”<br />

John Giggie, an associate professor in<br />

the history department, said restorative<br />

justice began as a concept in criminal law,<br />

aiming to give voices to individuals who<br />

were underrepresented and denied justice<br />

for too long.<br />

However, he said restorative justice<br />

isn’t a punishment orientation, but a more<br />

empathetic type of reform; it has taken<br />

on a broader role that can be applied to<br />

law, American culture, communities and<br />

society in general.<br />

Giggie said the University has<br />

enormous power within the state and<br />

region and, because of that, has the<br />

opportunity to be a leader in encouraging<br />

education, awareness and action toward<br />

restorative justice practices.<br />

He said it is important to look at<br />

what restorative justice means for young<br />

people and the role the University plays<br />

in that, “not simply the University<br />

as a research mechanism, but as a<br />

teaching organization.”<br />

Giggie has implemented courses and<br />

programs that allow students to further<br />

explore the subject matter that inspires<br />

them. Some of these include religious civil<br />

rights and queer history classes, a summer<br />

social justice academy, a program with the<br />

Equal <strong>Justice</strong> Initiative in Montgomery,<br />

and Black history classes at Central<br />

High School.<br />

“I think part of the key is to imagine<br />

being an academic community in a<br />

different way. That means being ever<br />

more present and thoughtful of those that<br />

lived near us and around us, but aren’t<br />

necessarily part of our campus formally,”<br />

Giggie said.<br />

He said he feels led by his students<br />

and locals in the Tuscaloosa community<br />

when it comes to identifying what type of<br />

action can be taken to engage individuals<br />

in these projects and better showcase<br />

Alabama’s history.<br />

“I think their understanding of what<br />

constitutes value, what constitutes history,<br />

is something we don’t always pay attention<br />

to, but they can teach us a lot,” Giggie said.<br />

Restorative justice requires people to<br />

push boundaries and think creatively to<br />

promote change and pave the way for the<br />

future. This practice sparks conversations<br />

5A<br />

of empathy for everyone involved.<br />

By taking into account the harm that<br />

has been done to a community while also<br />

understanding the factors that caused the<br />

offender’s behavior, it is possible to work<br />

toward reconciliation and healing for<br />

everyone involved.<br />

“What if we reorientate our<br />

understanding of kids acting out or<br />

youthful offenders and root it more in<br />

their mental health histories or family<br />

histories,” Giggie said. “<strong>The</strong>n all of a<br />

sudden that can lead to empathy and<br />

that can lead to policy change. I really<br />

believe that.<br />

One of the biggest<br />

things that is missing<br />

from the justice<br />

conversation today is<br />

courage.<br />


TAYLOR<br />

<strong>The</strong>re have also been moves toward<br />

restorative justice in the University’s<br />

theater department. Restorative justice<br />

as an art form requires the ability to take<br />

harmful words and imagery and remediate<br />

them into something to be celebrated and<br />

examined to empower future generations<br />

In this vein, the University’s<br />

production of “<strong>The</strong> Colored Museum,”<br />

a play composed of 11 separate “miniplays”<br />

challenging and satirizing racial<br />

stereotypes and briefly diving into the<br />

experiences of queer people of color, is an<br />

act of restorative justice.<br />

Christian Tripp, the play’s director<br />

and a full-time instructor in the theater<br />

department, said his main goal in<br />

choosing “<strong>The</strong> Colored Museum” was<br />

to find a play that would best serve the<br />

students on campus and the greater<br />

Tuscaloosa community.<br />

Tripp described the play’s commentary<br />

as a great conversation starter on what<br />

it means to be Black in this period of<br />

history, even though the play was written<br />

decades ago.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> big overall message I want<br />

the audience to walk away with is the<br />

questioning of their own preconceived<br />

notions of what it means to be Black,”<br />

Tripp said. “For a typical American,<br />

theatrical audience, for them to be able to<br />

go home and question what they laughed<br />

at. And for the atypical audience — the<br />

Black audience most often — for that<br />

perspective I would hope they would<br />

take away a sense of reclaiming their own<br />

images, their own voice, their own power.”<br />

Representing Students in Tuscaloosa Municipal Court,<br />

Tuscaloosa District Court, Northport Municipal Court, and<br />

Criminal Case Expungements<br />

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Tuscaloosa District 705 27th Avenue Court, Tuscaloosa Northport Alabama Municipal 35401 Court, and<br />

<strong>The</strong> University’s Division of Diversity,<br />

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across campus.<br />

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Tuscaloosa District Court, Northport Municipal Court, and<br />

G. Christine Taylor, the University’s<br />

Criminal Case Expungements<br />

vice president and associate provost of Representing Students in Tuscaloosa Municipal Court,<br />

diversity, equity and inclusion, said that in<br />

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order for restorative justice to be effective, Representing District Court, Northport Municipal Court, and<br />

it must start small. Enacting real change,<br />

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Tuscaloosa Case<br />

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Tuscaloosa District Court, Northport Municipal Court, and<br />

Alabama 35401<br />

she said, requires difficult conversations.<br />

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6A<br />


<strong>February</strong> 3, 2022<br />

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<strong>February</strong> 3, 2022<br />


<strong>The</strong> state of women’s safety<br />

1B<br />



<strong>The</strong> United Nations Entity for<br />

Gender Equality and Empowerment<br />

of Women recently published a study<br />

that found that 97% of the women<br />

surveyed had experienced some form of<br />

sexual harassment.<br />

After the research was published,<br />

“97%” became the label of a viral internet<br />

movement to raise awareness for women’s<br />

right to safety in the public sphere and to<br />

push for the end of sexual harassment.<br />

Women started using the hashtag<br />

#97percent in TikTok videos to share their<br />

stories of sexual harassment and sexual<br />

violence, and in Instagram posts where<br />

users linked women’s rights charities<br />

and organizations.<br />

<strong>The</strong> harsh reality in the 21st century is<br />

that while women have achieved a form of<br />

equality in terms of written legislation, they<br />

are far from achieving it in practice, as they<br />

are socially and economically inferior to<br />

their male counterparts.<br />

One of the most brutal ways this<br />

inequality manifests is in women’s lack of<br />

public safety.<br />

“I try to never walk anywhere alone,<br />

especially at night and if I am walking<br />

somewhere alone, to my car or even on<br />

campus, I try to be on the phone with<br />

a friend or my mom or someone,” said<br />

Fatema Dhondia, the former president<br />

of the United Greek Council and a junior<br />

majoring in mechanical engineering<br />

and German.<br />

Many women are able to rattle off<br />

a laundry list of precautions they take<br />

throughout the day to stay safe: Check<br />

underneath cars and backseats before<br />

driving anywhere; remove identifying<br />

stickers and pins from cars and backpacks;<br />

hold house keys between knuckles when<br />

walking through a parking garage.<br />

Jennifer Purvis, the University of<br />

Alabama women’s studies director, said<br />

experiencing sexual harassment and the<br />

constant need to stay alert factor into<br />

women’s sense of well-being and even<br />

their personalities.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama offers<br />

organizations, resources and programming<br />

aimed at protecting women. Dhondia<br />

has invited a plethora of speakers to give<br />

presentations to her and her sorority sisters<br />

about tips to stay safe, the warning signs of<br />

human trafficking, how to react in possibly<br />

dangerous situations and more.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University even offers a threecredit<br />

kinesiology course in self-defense<br />

for female students called KIN 155, Self<br />

Defense for Women.<br />

<strong>The</strong> course’s purpose, according to<br />

the UA course catalog, is “to provide the<br />

student with the knowledge and skills<br />

that will enhance the student’s ability to<br />

defend herself in case of physical or sexual<br />

assault as well as to enhance her overall<br />

personal safety.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> course is open to students of any<br />

major, and no prerequisites are required.<br />

“Taking [KIN 155] is one of the best<br />

decisions I’ve made. I learned so many tips<br />

and skills that I will utilize throughout the<br />

rest of my life,” Dhondia said. “I recommend<br />

every female student take this class if she<br />

has the chance.”<br />

Dhondia said she and her sorority sisters<br />

appreciated the education and the support,<br />

but they are left frustrated that women<br />

have to be briefed as if stepping into battle<br />

when they are taught simply how to exist<br />

in public.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y are not<br />

entering the<br />

battlefield<br />

unarmed. <strong>The</strong><br />

market today is<br />

overwhelmed<br />

with gadgets<br />

and inventions<br />

advertised to<br />

aid women’s safety.<br />

Women will carry<br />

lipstick tasers and pink<br />

pepper sprays, wear nail polish that<br />

detects date rape drugs, don scrunchies<br />

that can be used to cover their drinks,<br />

grip brass- knuckle<br />

keychains, snap-on alarm<br />

bracelets and more.<br />

Purvis said solutions that address the<br />

actions of the victim and not the aggressor<br />

will never solve the core issues from which<br />

these problems stem.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se safety measures are taken to an<br />

even greater degree in the context of parties.<br />

“All [women] know the most important<br />

thing is to never be alone,” said Dezirae<br />

Cunningham, the president of the UA<br />

student organization Women of Excellence<br />

and a senior majoring in public health. “You<br />

have to have people around you, watching<br />

out for you, making sure you never walk<br />

anywhere by yourself, and that there aren’t<br />

people taking advantage of you if you<br />

happen to be drinking. We, as women,<br />

aren’t really ever allowed to relax.”<br />

Bars recognize the dangers women face<br />

and have implemented measures to protect<br />

them, such as the Angel Shot, which isn’t<br />

an actual drink, but a sort of code word<br />

that women can use to alert bartenders that<br />

they are uncomfortable or in danger. <strong>The</strong><br />

bartender can take appropriate action —<br />

intervening, calling the police or removing<br />

the patron making the woman feel unsafe.<br />

Several bars have security personnel<br />

who will walk women to their cars if they<br />

request it.<br />

Dhondia said the UGC regularly informs<br />

its members of these resources available<br />

to them.<br />

Many sororities make sure their<br />

members know safety protocols, such as<br />

never leaving drinks unattended, never<br />

accepting an open beverage, drinking out of<br />

bottles or cans when possible, and covering<br />

the openings of drinks.<br />

Spiking is a well-known danger<br />

to women, especially on and around<br />

college campuses.<br />

<strong>The</strong> American Psychology Association<br />

found that almost 8% of students surveyed<br />

across three major universities reported<br />

having been drugged via a drink at some<br />

point. <strong>The</strong> study also said that “women<br />

were more likely to report sexual assault<br />

as a motive while men more often said the<br />

purpose was ‘to have fun.”<br />

“I think that at the root of solving<br />

this problem is to educate both men and<br />

women about the issues women face,”<br />

Cunningham said.<br />

Purvis said the only way to see lasting<br />

reform is to overhaul sex education in the<br />

United States, because comprehensive<br />

sex education is one of the best tools in<br />

the fight for justice for women, and it is<br />

severely underutilized.<br />

When conscious work isn’t done to<br />

change the cultural climate that<br />

demands women live in these<br />

conditions, the consequences<br />

are deadly.<br />

Prolific violence<br />

against women is<br />

a cultural truth<br />

every woman has<br />

been prepared for since<br />

a young age. However, the<br />

media and popular culture<br />

Women of Excellence is a student organization dedicated to empowering African American women.<br />

Courtesy of Women of Excellence<br />

do not treat all crimes against women the<br />

same and do not necessarily treat those they<br />

do choose to cover in a sensitive manner.<br />

According to an article by NPR, “tens<br />

of thousands of Black girls and women go<br />

missing every year. Last year, that figure<br />

was nearly 100,000.” <strong>The</strong>se cases are rarely<br />

featured in national headlines.<br />

“Missing white woman syndrome”<br />

refers to the mass hysteria that takes hold<br />

of Western media when an attractive white<br />

woman goes missing– the attention and<br />

concern that is suspiciously absent from<br />

the news when women of color disappear<br />

in similar cases. <strong>The</strong> phenomenon is meant<br />

to highlight the objectification of women,<br />

the desensitization of the public to violence<br />

against women and the discrimination<br />

faced by women of color.<br />

“It’s honestly exhausting to be a woman<br />

who already doesn’t feel safe, but on top<br />

of that to know that no one would say<br />

anything if something were to happen to<br />

me,” Cunningham said.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se ideas were recently reignited<br />

when news of Lauren Smith-Fields’ death<br />

and her family’s subsequent lawsuit against<br />

the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut, was<br />

made public.<br />

Smith-Fields was 23 years old when she<br />

was found dead in her apartment, and the<br />

last person she was known to be with was an<br />

older white man she had met on the dating<br />

app Bumble. <strong>The</strong> man was not considered a<br />

suspect and was not investigated in Smith-<br />

Fields’ disappearance and death.<br />

Smith-Fields’ family is now suing<br />

the city of Bridgeport for “failure to<br />

prosecute and failure to protect under the<br />

14th Amendment.”<br />

“Missing white woman syndrome” and<br />

Smith-Fields’ death serve to reemphasize<br />

the importance of intersectionality in<br />

modern feminist movements.<br />

“Intersectional feminism illuminates the<br />

connections between all fights for justice<br />

and liberation. It shows us that fighting for<br />

equality means not only turning the tables<br />

on gender injustices but rooting out all<br />

forms of oppression,” an article published by<br />

UN Women said. “It serves as a framework<br />

through which to build inclusive, robust<br />

movements that work to solve overlapping<br />

forms of discrimination, simultaneously.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> Alabama chapter of United for<br />

Reproductive & Gender Equity<br />

holds this idea central to<br />

its mission as it fights for<br />

reproductive justice in the<br />

United States. In addition<br />

to engaging in activism for<br />

women’s rights, the chapter<br />

also speaks about racial<br />

justice and justice<br />

CW / Jo Dyess<br />

for the LGBTQ community, including<br />

achieving accessibility to comprehensive<br />

health care for all individuals.<br />

Reproductive justice demands<br />

intersectionality because of<br />

the consequences of a lack of<br />

reproductive rights.<br />

On Dec. 1, the Supreme Court heard<br />

the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s<br />

Health Organization. <strong>The</strong> case surrounded<br />

a Mississippi law that would ban abortions<br />

after 15 weeks. <strong>The</strong> decision would<br />

potentially undermine and lead to the<br />

overturning of Roe v. Wade, the landmark<br />

Supreme Court case that protects pregnant<br />

people’s bodily autonomy and has been<br />

used to rule restrictive abortion laws<br />

unconstitutional for the past 50 years.<br />

Such a decision would disproportionately<br />

affect socioeconomically disadvantaged<br />

and minority communities. According to<br />

research from the Guttmacher Institute,<br />

restrictive laws against abortion do not stop<br />

abortions but rather reduce women’s access<br />

to safe abortions.<br />

It’s honestly exhausting<br />

to be a woman who<br />

already doesn’t feel<br />

safe, but on top of that<br />

to know that no one<br />

would say anything<br />

if something were to<br />

happen to me.<br />



“<strong>The</strong> data shows that abortion rates<br />

are roughly the same in countries where<br />

abortion is broadly legal and in countries<br />

where it isn’t,” Zara Ahmed, an associate<br />

director of federal issues for the Guttmacher<br />

Institute, said in an article for NBC.<br />

Beyond the debates of the morality<br />

of abortion lies the devastating truth<br />

that attempting to force women to carry<br />

pregnancies to term only serves to harm the<br />

mother, the child and the communities they<br />

are a part of.<br />

“We don’t have child care services in<br />

high schools and colleges or a lot of services<br />

available, so people ... are going to have to<br />

quit college or in some cases be kicked out<br />

of their families,” Purvis said. “It would be<br />

disastrous, especially because there’s not the<br />

support there.”<br />

Research from the Pew Research Center<br />

found that a majority of the American<br />

public supports abortion rights. Purvis<br />

explained that, should Roe v. Wade be<br />

overturned in 2022, she believes that the<br />

U.S. population would not be silent and that<br />

the decision would not last long.<br />

Purvis said she doesn’t know how it<br />

would manifest, but she doesn’t believe<br />

society would allow it to stand.<br />

URGE is one of several organizations<br />

across the country mobilizing people in the<br />

fight for reproductive rights.<br />

“URGE does sex education and<br />

sexual assault awareness programming,<br />

we provide information for health care<br />

access, we distribute Plan B and condoms<br />

when needed, we write letter campaigns<br />

to policymakers,” said Sarah Lib Patrick,<br />

the president of URGE UA and a senior<br />

majoring in restorative justice and civil<br />

rights studies.

2B<br />


<strong>February</strong> 3, 2022<br />

OPINION: UA’s activism is performative<br />

CW File<br />



Both the Ferguson Student Center<br />

and A.B. Moore Hall were recently<br />

renamed as the UA Student Center and<br />

Archie Wade Hall, respectively.<br />

This follows the renaming of<br />

other buildings in 2020, including<br />

Honors Hall, the English Building and<br />

Presidents Hall — formerly known as<br />

Nott Hall, Morgan Hall and Manly Hall,<br />

respectively, all namesakes of notorious<br />

racists from the University’s past.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re is no question that this<br />

renaming initiative, spearheaded by the<br />

trustees’ building names working group,<br />

has been a necessary step in seeing the<br />

University reckon with its deeply racist<br />

past. However, it is frankly embarrassing<br />

that it has taken this long for the<br />

University to realize that our campus<br />

should not pay homage to members<br />

of the Ku Klux Klan and infamous<br />

white supremacists.<br />

This recent movement to rename<br />

University buildings has not been the<br />

only reminder that the University<br />

still has a long way to go in terms of<br />

racial progress.<br />

Less than a decade ago, UA sororities<br />

were still denying Black women entry<br />

because of their race, and integration<br />

only occurred in 2013 after intensive<br />

media coverage. Even today, Black<br />

sorority members face discrimination<br />

and underrepresentation. In December<br />

<strong>2021</strong>, Alpha Phi member Kylie Klueger<br />

sent a racist text to a group message<br />

that included then-Alpha Phi President<br />

Katherine Anthony. This resulted in<br />

Klueger’s removal from the sorority and<br />

Anthony’s ousting from the presidency.<br />

Before this most recent incident,<br />

Alpha Phi had multiple other scandals<br />

involving racist behavior (like the<br />

expulsion of member Harley Barber in<br />

2018 for using racial slurs in a video).<br />

Again, these instances expose a<br />

sort of shallowness in the University’s<br />

outwardly progressive appearance. If<br />

we are so committed to diversity, equity<br />

and inclusion as a campus, then why<br />

is our Greek life (which constitutes<br />

approximately 35% of the undergraduate<br />

student body) seemingly a hotbed of<br />

exclusion and bigotry?<br />

<strong>The</strong> University at large must consider<br />

taking further action — beyond simple<br />

claims of inclusion and the renaming of<br />

buildings — in order to ensure that our<br />

community goes beyond performative<br />

activism and actually works toward<br />

honest systemic progress.<br />

For one, the committee should<br />

heed the advice of the United Campus<br />

Workers of Alabama Local 3965 and<br />

make the building renaming a more<br />

democratic process. Currently there is<br />

a lack of transparency in the process,<br />

and the committee is only made up<br />

of trustees. Staff, students and faculty<br />

should be included to ensure that future<br />

decisions made by the committee come<br />

from a diverse background and consider<br />

the input of the people who work and<br />

learn in these buildings every single<br />

day of the semester. Such a step would<br />

also help to curb the bias created by any<br />

donor influence.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University should listen to<br />

members of Greek life who wish to<br />

improve diversity and inclusion within<br />

fraternities and sororities. In December<br />

2020, Joshua Gill of the historically<br />

Black Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity<br />

encouraged the University to plan more<br />

mandatory events bringing Black and<br />

white organizations together; no such<br />

events have happened. Nor is there any<br />

transparency from faculty members<br />

on whether they are taking steps to<br />

address these situations further, to hold<br />

individuals accountable or to put a real<br />

end to this recurring problem.<br />

And, on an individual level, students<br />

can commit to making a difference<br />

whenever and wherever we can.<br />

Members of Greek organizations<br />

can promote greater inclusion, those<br />

involved in other student organizations<br />

can do the same, and we can all stand up<br />

and say something whenever we identify<br />

inequities within our community.<br />

More specifically, students can hold<br />

their organizations accountable by<br />

reaching out to the Division of Diversity,<br />

Equity and Inclusion, UAct, or even <strong>The</strong><br />

<strong>Crimson</strong> <strong>White</strong> when they recognize<br />

that something is wrong. <strong>The</strong> progress<br />

that we have seen so far has almost always<br />

been sparked by individuals speaking<br />

out and extensive media coverage; these<br />

are avenues that we can continue to use<br />

to effect change. Beyond this, students<br />

who share common concerns can come<br />

together to define real solutions and<br />

voice their concerns to the University<br />

through organizations they are a part of.<br />

It is one thing to claim to value<br />

diversity, equity and inclusion. It is<br />

another thing entirely to actively pursue<br />

the realization of those stated values. At<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama, we must all<br />

devote ourselves to real progress — not<br />

just performative activism.<br />

If you are interested in finding<br />

organizations on campus that are<br />

committed to effecting change, I<br />

encourage you to visit mySOURCE.<br />

BOOKS<br />

FOR THE<br />


JAN 31 - FEB 25, 2022<br />

Why?<br />

<strong>The</strong> Alabama Black Belt includes<br />

some of the poorest counties in<br />

the USA. We want to provide new<br />

or gently used K-12 books of any<br />

genre, especially STEM and ACT<br />

Prep Books, so children in the<br />

Black Belt can develop a love of<br />

learning and reading.<br />

Where?<br />

Tuomey Hall<br />

Honors Hall<br />

Reese Phifer Rotunda<br />

Oliver-Barnard Hall<br />

SGA Office<br />

Off Campus:<br />

Mildred Westervelt Warner<br />

Transportation Museum<br />

uaced.ua.edu/books-for-the-black-belt<br />

Shop Boots,<br />

Jeans, & Hats<br />

at <strong>The</strong> Wharf<br />

in Northport<br />

Questions? Contact Sally Brown 205-348-8344 or uaced@ua.edu<br />

220 Mcfarland Blvd N (205)-752-2075


<strong>February</strong> 3, 2022<br />

3B<br />

‘An open and welcoming space’:<br />

How UA is prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion<br />



<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama’s<br />

Division of Diversity, Equity and<br />

Inclusion provides leadership for the<br />

advancement of inclusiveness in learning<br />

environments, programs, workforce and<br />

strategic partnerships.<br />

<strong>The</strong> division has four primary<br />

goals: recruit, retain and graduate<br />

more diverse students; recruit, retain<br />

and promote more diverse faculty<br />

and staff; build a more inclusive and<br />

welcoming campus environment; and<br />

develop a more culturally competent<br />

campus community.<br />

Since joining the University in<br />

August 2017, G. Christine Taylor, the<br />

vice president and associate provost<br />

for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, has<br />

stressed the importance of intentionality<br />

in improving student diversity at<br />

the University.<br />

“I’m really excited about the<br />

opportunities that we all have here at<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama to create a<br />

campus that is much more welcoming<br />

and inclusive and that allows an<br />

opportunity to unlearn some things<br />

and to relearn other important things,”<br />

Taylor said.<br />

Taylor’s office has a number of<br />

ongoing campus efforts to reach out to<br />

students and staff.<br />

Diversity, Equity and<br />

Inclusion spaces and events<br />

<strong>The</strong> professionally staffed Intercultural<br />

Diversity Center moved to a central<br />

location in <strong>The</strong> University of Alabama<br />

Student Center in 2020. <strong>The</strong> center<br />

serves as a hub for cultural learning,<br />

teaching and sharing. Before then, there<br />

was no central location for the center.<br />

Taylor said the Intercultural Diversity<br />

Center is “first of all a space that is for<br />

the University of Alabama, all students,<br />

all faculty, and all staff.”<br />

Our goal is to continue<br />

to be a safe haven<br />

for students from all<br />

over. <strong>The</strong> program<br />

has been invigorated<br />

over the past year and<br />

continues to grow and<br />

expand in popularity.<br />


“It may find itself often populated<br />

with diverse students but it's an open<br />

and welcoming space for everyone,”<br />

Taylor said. “<strong>The</strong> way we describe it is<br />

as a place for cultural learning, cultural<br />

teaching, and cultural sharing.”<br />

Events at the Intercultural Diversity<br />

Center include Diversity, Coffee and<br />

Conversations. Programs are tied to<br />

the commemorative month currently<br />

being celebrated.<br />

Parnab Das is a doctoral candidate in<br />

the College of Engineering.<br />

“It's very beneficial for me as an<br />

international student on campus,<br />

because I get to know other people<br />

domestic as well as international, learn<br />

from them, their culture, their thoughts<br />

and perspectives,” Das said. “Sometimes<br />

we discuss things like religion, faith,<br />

science, world politics, societal barriers,<br />

sexualities and all those things.”<br />

During Native American Heritage<br />

Month, a colleague from another campus<br />

who was Navajo joined via Zoom and<br />

discussed her experience.<br />

<strong>The</strong> meetings are open to faculty, staff<br />

and students with upcoming dates for<br />

spring 2022: Feb.1, March 1, April 5 and<br />

May 3.<br />

An initiative that provided a<br />

quantitative outcome to its success<br />

involved “Creating a More Welcoming<br />

Campus Community.” From September<br />

2020 to March <strong>2021</strong>, the Intercultural<br />

Diversity Center had 1,392 visitors,<br />

four watch party series, 11 social justice<br />

movie series, three virtual cooking<br />

demonstrations and 86 program<br />

partnerships with other departments<br />

and student organizations, among<br />

other events.<br />

<strong>The</strong> theme for this year’s Black History<br />

Month in <strong>February</strong> is Black health and<br />

wellness.<br />

“For each of our commemorative<br />

months, we try to make the first Tuesday<br />

event something that is educational and<br />

that people may not know about,” Taylor<br />

said. “We also build in time for people to<br />

share about the programs that they are<br />

doing or find ways to collaborate.”<br />

Incident reporting<br />

<strong>The</strong> Division of Diversity, Equity and<br />

Inclusion also provides five methods<br />

of incident reporting for students who<br />

face discrimination on campus: the hate<br />

and bias hotline at 205-348-BIAS, the<br />

hate and bias reporting form, the Title<br />

IX information to report allegations of<br />

sexual misconduct, the student conduct<br />

reporting options, and the equal<br />

opportunity, nondiscriminiation and<br />

disability reporting tool.<br />

Incident reports go to a central space<br />

where they are parsed out depending on<br />

the details of the incident.<br />

“If someone finds themself<br />

experiencing a hate crime, we don’t<br />

want [students] out there experiencing<br />

and not reporting. Students need to<br />

make sure that they report — and that’s<br />

anything, because we cannot respond<br />

to things we do not know about,”<br />

Taylor said.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Path Forward Report<br />

In 2020, Taylor spearheaded the<br />

Path Forward Report, which includes<br />

75 strategies for recruiting, retaining<br />

and graduating more diverse students,<br />

faculty and staff and creating a more<br />

welcoming campus community. <strong>The</strong>re<br />

are four primary measurable qualities of<br />

success: minority enrollment, minority<br />

student retention rates, minority student<br />

graduation rates and a minority faculty<br />

headcount.<br />

In May <strong>2021</strong>, the University released<br />

a “Path Forward Progress Update.” <strong>The</strong><br />

update indicated the status of each<br />

goal as “completed,” “in-process,” or<br />

“to become a <strong>2021</strong>-22 initiative;” an<br />

update for each section with highlighted<br />

examples and an overall progress update<br />

for each strategy.<br />

<strong>The</strong> progress update was split<br />

into several categories. Regarding<br />

“Recruiting, Retaining and Graduating<br />

More Diverse Students,” a key outcome<br />

involved the Multicultural Visitation<br />

Program. This program provided a<br />

means of working collaboratively with<br />

Enrollment Management and the<br />

Academic Diversity Council. <strong>The</strong> first<br />

program was held in October 2020.<br />

“Recruiting and Retaining More<br />

Diverse Faculty and Staff ” is primarily<br />

focused on building infrastructure that<br />

will positively impact hiring procedures<br />

for new faculty. <strong>The</strong> outcomes were<br />

opportunities at the Higher Education<br />

Recruitment Consortium as well as<br />

support for faculty and staff to attend the<br />

9th Annual Faculty Women of Color in<br />

the Academy Virtual Conference.<br />

<strong>The</strong> entire 2020 Path Forward Progress<br />

Update (75 total recommendations)<br />

showed a completion percentage of<br />

11% with 42% in-process. This also<br />

included an additional 47% of the<br />

recommendations that are part of the<br />

<strong>2021</strong>-22 initiative plan.<br />

Future goals<br />

One of Taylor’s major goals for next<br />

year is to plan speaking engagements<br />

and other events so professors can utilize<br />

them better.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>y can then build them into their<br />

syllabus. I think it would change our<br />

planning model and I think that is an<br />

important thing to do so that we can<br />

really be able to know what all sides are<br />

doing and allow people adequate time to<br />

plan. That’s one of my big goals in that<br />

we end up with a much more robust<br />

and preplanned calendar with as many<br />

of the major DEI events that we have<br />

occurring on this campus and share at<br />

the beginning of the academic year.”<br />

In addition to the Division of<br />

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion there are<br />

several college-based efforts. <strong>The</strong> College<br />

of Communication and Information<br />

Sciences provides an updated diversity<br />

plan that was approved by the faculty<br />

and staff in April 2019.<br />

Multicultural Engineering<br />

Program<br />

<strong>The</strong> Multicultural Engineering<br />

Program was established in May<br />

1987 through a joint grant from<br />

the National Action Council for<br />

Minorities in Engineering and the<br />

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. As a<br />

founding member institution of the<br />

Southeastern Consortium for Minorities<br />

in Engineering, the University has<br />

continued its long-term commitment to<br />

the pre-college effort.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Multicultural Engineering<br />

Program strategic plan has three goals<br />

that seek to support students at all levels<br />

in the College of Engineering. <strong>The</strong>se<br />

three goals are to increase the enrollment<br />

of academically qualified students<br />

from underrepresented populations, to<br />

develop comprehensive support services<br />

that ensure graduation success and<br />

to promote a diverse community that<br />

Courtesy of Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion<br />

encourages a career in engineering or<br />

computer science.<br />

Lisa Nicole Smith, the director of the<br />

Multicultural Engineering program and<br />

the manager for diversity, equity and<br />

inclusion for the College of Engineering,<br />

has over 16 years of experience in the<br />

recruitment and retention of highly<br />

desired, diverse populations.<br />

Smith reiterated these goals when<br />

discussing 2022.<br />

I’m really excited about<br />

the opportunities that<br />

we all have here at <strong>The</strong><br />

University of Alabama<br />

to create a campus<br />

that is much<br />

more welcoming<br />

and inclusive.<br />


TAYLOR<br />

“Our goal is to continue to be<br />

a safe haven for students from all<br />

over,” Smith said. “<strong>The</strong> program has<br />

been reinvigorated over the past year<br />

and continues to grow and expand<br />

in popularity.”<br />

Smith said that the biggest initiative<br />

that has occurred since coming to the<br />

University in early <strong>2021</strong> “has been the<br />

creation of the center.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> Multicultural Engineering<br />

Program can be found in Hardaway<br />

Hall rooms 172-175. Smith said the<br />

space was made to be “accommodating<br />

to students in order to be a place<br />

where students want to come and<br />

feel comfortable.” This included a<br />

deep clean, painting the walls and<br />

buying furniture.<br />

“I think the biggest impact that we<br />

have is showing students of color that<br />

they are not alone,” Smith said. “<strong>The</strong>re<br />

are 4,754 undergraduate students in the<br />

College of Engineering. Of this total<br />

number of undergraduate students, 415<br />

of them identify as African American<br />

(8.7%), 205 identify as Latino/Hispanic<br />

(4.3%), 10 identify as American Indian<br />

(0.2%), 125 identify as Asian (2.6%),<br />

255 identify as nonresident alien (5.4%)<br />

and 167 identify as 2 or more races<br />

(3.5%). Within these demographics, 34<br />

additional students chose not to disclose<br />

(0.7%). This is all compared to the<br />

contrast of 3,537 that identify as white<br />

(74.4%). We realized when looking at<br />

numbers like this that spaces like [the<br />

multicultural center] are completely<br />

necessary and are appropriate because<br />

what we want to do is to foster a<br />

community and make sure that students<br />

understand that they are not alone.”<br />

UA lobbies new bill in response to critical race theory<br />



<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama System<br />

collaborated with the state legislature<br />

to create legislation that protects<br />

Alabama universities’ freedom over<br />

their curricula.<br />

<strong>The</strong> joint effort between the state<br />

legislature and the Higher Education<br />

Alliance resulted in a new piece of<br />

legislation in response to legislators’<br />

concerns about critical race theory in<br />

higher education.<br />

Faculty Senate members spoke out<br />

in October after House Bill 8 and<br />

House Bill 11, which seek to prevent<br />

universities from teaching critical<br />

race theory and related concepts,<br />

were prefiled in the legislature.<br />

Clay Ryan, senior vice chancellor<br />

for external affairs for the UA System,<br />

said a new piece of legislation is in<br />

the works that will satisfy legislators’<br />

goals while maintaining professors’<br />

integrity in the classroom.<br />

“If we have a piece of legislation<br />

that allows the teacher to teach what<br />

they know, and allows the student<br />

to consider it, be knowledgeable<br />

about it, but not agree with it, that<br />

is an intellectually honest and sound<br />

position to arrive at,” Ryan said.<br />

Ryan said that he was encouraged<br />

that legislators understand the<br />

importance of universities’<br />

academic freedom.<br />

<strong>The</strong> new bill cannot be introduced<br />

until the state legislature exits the<br />

current special session on distributing<br />

COVID-19 relief funds. Ryan did not<br />

share the language of the bill.<br />

“I think the dialogue has been<br />

very good, regardless of whether<br />

somebody agrees with what the<br />

original bill says or not,” Ryan said.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re's been a willingness to at<br />

least hear from us on our concerns.<br />

And I do think that legislation that<br />

ultimately moves through the process<br />

will reflect a great deal of input and<br />

feedback from us.”<br />

In December, the UA Faculty<br />

Senate passed a resolution calling<br />

on UA President Stuart Bell to<br />

oppose legislation that “undermines<br />

academic freedom and, therefore, the<br />

historic purpose of higher education.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> Faculty Senate urged the UA<br />

System to maintain its commitment<br />

to academic freedom. Neither<br />

Bell nor the UA System issued the<br />

statement requested.<br />

“I don't think in this case that<br />

the public statement would be<br />

particularly helpful in advancing or<br />

achieving what we’re trying to do<br />

legislatively,” Ryan said.<br />

Sara McDaniel, a senator for the<br />

College of Education and the chair<br />

of the college’s diversity, equity and<br />

inclusion committee, was dissatisfied<br />

with the University’s silence on<br />

the resolution.<br />

<strong>The</strong> new bill has not been shared<br />

publicly and has not become public<br />

record. Since June, the only bills<br />

available to the public are those the<br />

University seeks to replace.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> bills that were introduced in<br />

January, that are now in committee<br />

... are no different than the bills<br />

that were prefiled in the summer,”<br />

McDaniel said. “So whatever the<br />

University was doing between the<br />

summer and January to impact the<br />

wording of the bills, the wording<br />

didn’t change. So I don’t know what<br />

we’ve been doing.”

4B<br />

<strong>Justice</strong> is slowly prevailing for<br />

women’s collegiate athletics<br />


<strong>February</strong> 3, 2022<br />



It takes the same amount of drive,<br />

resilience and toughness for any<br />

student-athlete to compete at the<br />

collegiate level, but women are only<br />

starting to receive the same respect<br />

male athletes have had for decades.<br />

Anniversary of Title IX<br />

This year marks the 50th<br />

anniversary of Title IX, a law that<br />

states that “no person in the United<br />

States shall, on the basis of sex, be<br />

excluded from participation in, be<br />

denied the benefits of, or be subjected<br />

to discrimination under any education<br />

program or activity receiving<br />

Federal financial assistance.” In this<br />

anniversary year, the NCAA offered<br />

“gender equity reforms” during the<br />

education session that began on<br />

Jan. 25.<br />

Alabama softball head coach Patrick<br />

Murphy went to Twitter to show his<br />

pleasure about the announcement of<br />

the reforms.<br />

“A small step in the right direction<br />

… on the 50th anniversary of Title<br />

IX,” Murphy tweeted.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se reforms plan to help expand<br />

championship operations, the<br />

student-athlete experience, marketing<br />

efforts and more in the women’s game<br />

in order to achieve parity with their<br />

male counterparts. <strong>The</strong>re are two<br />

phases in the gender equity reforms,<br />

which include bridging the gap<br />

between women’s and men’s basketball<br />

coverage and improving the women’s<br />

game across all three divisions.<br />

<strong>The</strong> NCAA said it noticed 65<br />

discrepancies between the women’s<br />

and men’s games and resolved 45 of<br />

them. Starting this year, the NCAA is<br />

going to improve women’s coverage all<br />

the way from the bracket reveal to the<br />

trophy presentation once a champion<br />

has been named. In <strong>2021</strong>, the NCAA<br />

was called out for differences in the<br />

weight rooms it provided men’s and<br />

women’s teams.<br />

<strong>The</strong> NCAA improved the women’s<br />

weight rooms once the backlash<br />

hit and will continue to improve<br />

its facilities and accommodations<br />

for the NCAA Women’s Basketball<br />

Tournament. Student-athletes and<br />

their families will now be given lounges<br />

in their respective hotels while also<br />

receiving improved mementos and<br />

in-venue experiences.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are three major steps the<br />

NCAA plans to take to improve<br />

women’s collegiate athletics in all<br />

three divisions. <strong>The</strong> first includes an<br />

increased number of bench numbers,<br />

travel rosters and changes to bracket<br />

selections. Second, the NCAA will<br />

use cross-promotion, branding and<br />

enhanced marketing strategies.<br />

<strong>The</strong> biggest improvement will<br />

be the expansion of championship<br />

competition across the Division I<br />

level in gymnastics, softball and<br />

volleyball. Gymnastics will add a day<br />

of rest before the regional final and<br />

national final. <strong>The</strong>re will no longer<br />

be doubleheaders on “elimination<br />

Saturday” at the Women’s College<br />

World Series, and a rest day is now<br />

implemented a day<br />

before the<br />

championship series begins.<br />

Volleyball adds a day of rest in the<br />

regional round.<br />

Both of these phases will come<br />

to fruition through increased<br />

budgets and personnel,<br />

improved broadcasting<br />

opportunities, external<br />

operations and marketing,<br />

and a gender equity<br />

evaluation process.<br />

In the past 12 months,<br />

a couple of women’s<br />

collegiate games have<br />

found their way onto<br />

a national broadcast<br />

network. During<br />

the <strong>2021</strong> softball<br />

postseason, Game 2 of the Norman<br />

Super Regional between Oklahoma<br />

and Washington was broadcast on<br />

ABC. This was the first-ever college<br />

softball game televised on a broadcast<br />

network. On Jan. 16, Alabama and<br />

Florida’s gymnastics meet became the<br />

first regular-season gymnastics meet<br />

to air on ABC.<br />

Alabama gymnastics head coach<br />

Dana Duckworth reflected on what<br />

it meant for a regular season college<br />

gymnastics meet to air on ABC.<br />

“I think that it is a huge statement<br />

for our sport,” Duckworth said. “It<br />

continues to allow our sport to grow,<br />

gaining more recognition, and give<br />

more women opportunity to shine out<br />

of the bright lights.”<br />

What now?<br />

A couple games between<br />

ranked teams during<br />

the <strong>2021</strong>-22 women’s<br />

basketball season<br />

required monthly<br />

subscriptions to<br />

watch.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se games included No. 1 South<br />

Carolina vs. No. 15 LSU available on<br />

SEC Network+ and No. 4 Indiana vs.<br />

No. 5 Stanford on FloHoops.<br />

Would ESPN ever not publicly<br />

televise a top-15 or top-five men’s<br />

basketball game?<br />

In <strong>2021</strong>, the Women’s College<br />

World Series had 60% more<br />

viewership than the Men’s College<br />

World Series. <strong>The</strong> WCWS averaged<br />

1.2 million views, compared with the<br />

men’s average viewing of 775,000.<br />

Although softball’s viewership<br />

skyrocketed past baseball’s, ESPN<br />

televised the MCWS winner-take-all<br />

game at 6 p.m. CT, while first pitch<br />

for the WCWS winner-take-all game<br />

was in the middle of the afternoon at<br />

2 p.m. CT.<br />

If the WCWS has drawn more<br />

engagement, fans wonder why the<br />

NCAA hasn’t put money toward a<br />

padded outfield fence instead of<br />

a chain-link fence with a mesh<br />

covering.<br />

It’s evident that the NCAA<br />

is working toward growing<br />

the women’s game, but there is<br />

still a tremendous<br />

amount of work<br />

to do.<br />



Club sports have faced setbacks<br />

during the COVID-19 pandemic. At<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama, some club<br />

sports teams were heavily impacted and<br />

suffered financially after a missed season.<br />

Funding<br />

Club sports are operated by<br />

student officers and funded mostly<br />

by membership dues, fundraisers, the<br />

Student Recreation Center and the<br />

Student Government Association.<br />

Membership dues are paid by athletes<br />

each semester and range from $150 to<br />

$200. <strong>The</strong> funds that these teams receive<br />

from University Recreation are limited<br />

and require documentation to show the<br />

commitment of the team.<br />

According to the Sports Club<br />

Resource Guide, 60% of the annual<br />

sports club allocation is distributed to<br />

teams based on need. To receive this kind<br />

of funding, teams are required to submit<br />

projected annual budgets and attend<br />

budget meetings.<br />

For the team to receive a need-based<br />

allocation in the upcoming year, 80% of<br />

the current year’s allocation has to have<br />

been spent. If a team does not meet this<br />

COVID sidelines club sports<br />

requirement the balance will remain in<br />

its account, but it will not receive needbased<br />

funds for the upcoming year.<br />

Because of this rule, some teams<br />

struggled to start back up when club<br />

sports resumed in fall <strong>2021</strong>. Over time,<br />

teams lost major resources and struggled<br />

to maintain financial stability. Some were<br />

able to continue without any advances.<br />

Water polo<br />

<strong>The</strong> water polo team was able to<br />

continue normal operations without<br />

many struggles. Alabama junior Nick<br />

Ward is the president of the water polo<br />

team and has been a member since his<br />

freshman year.<br />

Ward said the club still gets its regular<br />

allocations of funding from the recreation<br />

center, and they still had money left over<br />

to bring into the comeback season. <strong>The</strong><br />

team also brought in additional funding<br />

from a fundraising contest with other<br />

club sports.<br />

“We’ve been able to do everything<br />

we’ve needed to do with the funding that<br />

we’ve been given, especially this year,<br />

so we are better off than normal after<br />

coming out of COVID,” Ward said.<br />

Ward and his team appreciate the<br />

amount that is given to them by the<br />

recreation center, but they continue to<br />

find ways to support themselves aside<br />

from the allocations.<br />

“We have been starting to do more and<br />

more fundraisers,” Ward said. “We had<br />

a percentage night at [Red Bowl] Asian<br />

and we had a really big turnout, and they<br />

were really appreciative of us coming out<br />

and growing their business, and we were<br />

really appreciative of them.”<br />

Hockey<br />

<strong>The</strong> same can’t be said for the Alabama<br />

Hockey Club.<br />

<strong>The</strong> club has been competing in the<br />

American Collegiate Hockey Association<br />

for 17 years. Alabama has competed at<br />

the Division I level since 2015.<br />

Delaney Galbraith is the head of<br />

marketing and head of staff for the<br />

hockey club and thinks the University<br />

could do more.<br />

“UA is really missing out with not<br />

helping this program,” Galbraith said.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> school has had every opportunity to<br />

help, and I’ve seen little to none come in.<br />

<strong>The</strong> staff members, players and fan base<br />

are what keep this program alive.”<br />

Alabama hockey was on the brink of<br />

being kicked out by the Pelham Civic<br />

Complex, where the team practices and<br />

hosts games. Without help from the fans,<br />

the team would have no place to compete.<br />

“Our fan support is incredible,”<br />

Galbraith said. “We have a pretty<br />

decent-sized fan base that has helped us<br />

overcome these obstacles like funding.<br />

CW File<br />

Lots of fans will donate thousands of<br />

dollars to the program.”<br />

In an effort to save its season,<br />

Alabama hockey created a GoFundMe<br />

page to raise $18,000 by Sept. 1, <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

<strong>The</strong> page has yet to reach that goal, but<br />

the GoFundMe page is still live and has<br />

raised over $10,000.<br />

Equestrian club<br />

<strong>The</strong> hockey club is not the only team<br />

that relies heavily on fundraisers. <strong>The</strong> UA<br />

Equestrian Club was hit hard financially,<br />

and the hopes for the season were slim.<br />

In March 2020, the equestrian team<br />

was demoted from a varsity sport to a<br />

club sport, forcing the team to turn to<br />

fundraising when its University funds<br />

were cut.<br />

Vice President Abigayle Kneebone<br />

started a petition to have the decision<br />

reversed, but more than 22,000 signatures<br />

couldn’t change the University’s mind.<br />

<strong>The</strong> allocation from the Student<br />

Recreation Center forced the team to<br />

change its program and caused some<br />

members to transfer schools to continue<br />

to practice the sport they love.<br />

“I know a lot of girls who came to<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama specifically<br />

for the equestrian team,” Kneebone<br />

said. “Without a funded team, it<br />

simply is not worth it, especially with<br />

out-of-state tuition.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> hockey club (left) and the equestrian club (right) were financially impacted<br />

during the COVID 19 pandemic. CW File and courtesy of UA Equestrian Club


<strong>February</strong> 3, 2022<br />


6B<br />


Februarary 3, 2022<br />

Top athletes can be activists through NIL<br />



A couple years ago, name, image<br />

and likeness was a term only a few<br />

college athletes knew. Now, the world<br />

of college sports — fans, athletes and<br />

coaches alike — knows about NIL,<br />

and it’s here to stay.<br />

On June 21, <strong>2021</strong>, the U.S. Supreme<br />

Court ruled against the NCAA in<br />

NCAA v. Alston. <strong>The</strong> court upheld<br />

the ruling made by the U.S. Court of<br />

Appeals in the Ninth Circuit.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> NCAA has long restricted<br />

the compensation and benefits<br />

that student athletes may receive,”<br />

Supreme Court <strong>Justice</strong> Brett<br />

Kavanaugh wrote in the concurring<br />

opinion. “With surprising success,<br />

the NCAA has long shielded its<br />

compensation rules from ordinary<br />

antitrust scrutiny. Today, however,<br />

the court holds that the NCAA has<br />

violated antitrust laws. <strong>The</strong> Court’s<br />

decision marks an important and<br />

overdue course correction.”<br />

Along with the federal pressure,<br />

states across the U.S. were drafting<br />

NIL laws to put in place in early<br />

July. <strong>The</strong> NCAA had to take action,<br />

and quickly.<br />

On June 30, <strong>2021</strong>, the NCAA Board<br />

of Directors voted to lift restrictions<br />

on student-athletes and their names.<br />

On July 1, <strong>2021</strong>, several states signed<br />

NIL bills into law. For the first time,<br />

college athletes could profit off their<br />

names and images.<br />

<strong>The</strong> issues around NIL<br />

are a labor issue. This is<br />

about these students not<br />

as students actually but<br />

as workers and people<br />

who produce quite a bit<br />

of value and profit for<br />

quite a few people.<br />

A.J. BAUER<br />

<strong>The</strong> Supreme Court’s ruling has<br />

been heralded by many as a great<br />

step in changing college athletics.<br />

After years of activism, students<br />

will now be rewarded for their<br />

immense efforts.<br />

But is this the end?<br />

“I do think that name, image and<br />

likeness has been a very positive<br />

benefit for college athletes,” said<br />

Katie Lever, a doctoral student<br />

studying issues within the NCAA<br />

at the University of Texas at Austin.<br />

“It’s not the end all, be all of college<br />

sports reform.”<br />

For years, the NCAA earned<br />

billions of dollars for several college<br />

sports while forbidding athletes<br />

to make money, host camps and<br />

clinics, appear in commercials or<br />

sign endorsements. <strong>The</strong> NCAA also<br />

punished athletes for promoting<br />

small businesses, raising money for<br />

healthcare and accepting offers of<br />

free goods.<br />

Student-athletes have consistently<br />

pushed back and, in 2020, took<br />

their protests to new heights. With<br />

the power of social media, studentathletes<br />

across the country spoke<br />

about the racial, physical and mental<br />

abuse they endured while the schools<br />

they competed for profited off their<br />

names. <strong>The</strong> NCAA could no longer<br />

say that college athletes aren't<br />

university employees, and fans began<br />

calling for change.<br />

<strong>The</strong> paternal grip of the NCAA<br />

was loosening, but the NCAA still<br />

had something that the studentathletes<br />

didn’t: financial stability.<br />

“Most of these NIL deals are<br />

averaging in maybe the hundreds-ofdollars<br />

range,” Lever said. “So, it’s not<br />

providing athletes with the stability<br />

to be able to speak out on some<br />

controversial topics that they were<br />

speaking out against in the summer<br />

of 2020.”<br />

Top collegiate athletes are signing<br />

brand deals that allow them to earn<br />

six figures. University of Connecticut<br />

women’s basketball player Paige<br />

Bueckers signed a multimillion dollar<br />

deal with Nike. Alabama quarterback<br />

Bryce Young has appeared in<br />

commercials for CashApp. Alabama<br />

Hundreds of UA student-athletes protested police brutality on Aug. 31, 2020.<br />

CW / Keely Brewer<br />

softball fans can purchase pitcher<br />

Montana Fouts’ “Throw Like a Girl”<br />

merchandise at BamaStuff.<br />

But not all college athletes are<br />

enjoying the same benefits.<br />

Along with a limited amount of<br />

money, it’s still relatively easy to<br />

censor an athlete for speaking out.<br />

Most college athletes attend school<br />

on a scholarship. A coach can decide<br />

to revoke a scholarship if a college<br />

athlete speaks out about a cause the<br />

coach deems controversial.<br />

<strong>The</strong> NCAA still has firm control<br />

over the actions and movements<br />

college athletes can pursue. A<br />

practice that has allowed the NCAA<br />

to maintain control over college<br />

athletes has just taken a new form.<br />

Image is much more than one’s<br />

physical appearance. Most brands<br />

value the words and actions of<br />

athletes now more than ever. Major<br />

companies also try to support<br />

social causes athletes are speaking<br />

out about.<br />

In March <strong>2021</strong>, several college<br />

athletes considered a strike from the<br />

March Madness tournament. <strong>The</strong><br />

National College Players Association<br />

partnered with the group of athletes<br />

and demanded the NCAA give<br />

athletes a list of their rights.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> only thing that was missing<br />

from that was an ultimatum,” Lever<br />

said. “That’s really the missing piece<br />

here. <strong>The</strong> NCAA does have a lot<br />

of infrastructure, but it’s a pretty<br />

shaky foundation.”<br />

Despite limited funds and pressure<br />

from athletic programs, social media<br />

and brand deals may be the way<br />

college athletes can create change in<br />

the NCAA. Platforms like Twitter,<br />

Instagram and TikTok allow fans<br />

to see college athletes in a way they<br />

haven’t before.<br />

“Historically, the idea of one’s<br />

likeness — a brand — utilizing you<br />

to sell their product wasn’t all that<br />

common for us [regular people]<br />

because it’s more interesting for<br />

brands to want to use our images,”<br />

said A.J. Bauer, associate professor of<br />

journalism and creative media at <strong>The</strong><br />

University of Alabama.<br />

College athletes don’t have to<br />

be stars to participate in activism.<br />

Social media allows college athletes<br />

to raise awareness for a cause with a<br />

simple video or a post. Athletes have<br />

also used creative outlets such as art<br />

and fashion to grow their brand.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se actions can change the<br />

narrative around college athletes'<br />

issues in the U.S.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> issues around NIL are a<br />

labor issue,” Bauer said. “This is<br />

about these students not as students<br />

actually but as workers and people<br />

who produce quite a bit of value and<br />

profit for quite a few people.”<br />

College athlete activism may be<br />

less prominent than it was in 2020,<br />

but NIL creates a space for it to exist.<br />

“A lot of this has to do with<br />

the organization really, truly<br />

partnering with the athlete, making<br />

it customizable and making sure that<br />

the athlete is accommodated and can<br />

use his or her platform as best as they<br />

possibly can,” Lever said.<br />

OPINION: NIL has opened doors, but is it enough?<br />



<strong>The</strong> long, drawn-out debate about<br />

whether or not college athletes should<br />

be paid has finally been settled. Or<br />

has it?<br />

<strong>The</strong> debate will never end; athletes<br />

will always want more, and the<br />

NCAA will always want less.<br />

In high school, I wrote a research<br />

paper on why college athletes should<br />

not be paid a salary because they were<br />

already being financially supported<br />

by a full academic scholarship.<br />

Many people have the same<br />

viewpoint as my younger self. Former<br />

Florida quarterback and Heisman<br />

CW / Jo Dyess<br />

winner Tim Tebow voiced his<br />

disapproval when California became<br />

the first state to allow studentathletes<br />

to receive compensation.<br />

“I knew going into college what it<br />

was all about,” Tebow said. “I knew<br />

going to Florida, my dream school,<br />

where I wanted to go, the passion for<br />

it. And if I could support my team,<br />

support my college, support my<br />

university, that’s what it’s all about.<br />

But now we’re changing it from us<br />

and we and my university — from<br />

being an alumni, which makes us<br />

care, and what makes college football<br />

and college sports special — to it’s<br />

not about us, it’s not about we, it’s<br />

just about me.”<br />

Tebow would have made a<br />

disgusting amount of cash if he had<br />

the name, image and likeness rules in<br />

his college career, but he feared that<br />

college football would turn into the<br />

NFL in that recruits would choose<br />

their school based on the amount<br />

offered. That’s understandable.<br />

College football is great because of<br />

the passion and pageantry that goes<br />

along with it. But something tells me<br />

Tebow is against it because he didn’t<br />

get to take part in it.<br />

<strong>The</strong> amount of money the NCAA<br />

and its universities make is downright<br />

ridiculous. Billions of dollars go into<br />

college sports yearly, and the athletes<br />

who are actually making the money<br />

get small fractions of it. Sources say<br />

that Alabama quarterback Bryce<br />

Young made almost $1 million in<br />

NIL deals last year, but that’s nothing<br />

compared to the NCAA.<br />

But when you think of the total<br />

profit that Alabama athletics made<br />

this season, is that really a lot?<br />

<strong>The</strong> Alabama athletic program<br />

generated almost $180 million in<br />

the last year, so is Young worth less<br />

than 1% of the team? His Heisman<br />

trophy would say otherwise. Without<br />

Young behind center, chances are the<br />

<strong>Crimson</strong> Tide would not have made<br />

the national championship game.<br />

That would have been an<br />

enormous loss of money, and yet,<br />

rather than the school he works<br />

for paying him, he gets paid by the<br />

likes of Logan’s Roadhouse, Subway<br />

and iHeartRadio.<br />

We haven’t moved into paid<br />

salaries for student-athletes yet. NIL<br />

is the only way for these athletes to<br />

make money, but that comes with yet<br />

another kink. How are lesser-known,<br />

lesser-televised athletes supposed to<br />

make money? <strong>The</strong> television coverage<br />

for women’s athletics is low, and the<br />

name recognition is even lower. <strong>The</strong><br />

same goes for other undercovered<br />

sports like swimming, golf, rowing,<br />

track and field, and cross country.<br />

If the money for the sport isn’t<br />

there, then the majority of athletes<br />

will never touch a dollar.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are some examples — like<br />

South Carolina women’s basketball<br />

star Aliyah Boston, Connecticut’s<br />

Paige Bueckers, Auburn gymnast<br />

Suni Lee and Alabama’s Montana<br />

Fouts — whose recognizable names<br />

could earn them a buck from time<br />

to time.<br />

But what about their teammates?<br />

I support giving student-athletes<br />

the money that they have earned, but<br />

I agree that it could absolutely change<br />

college sports. <strong>The</strong> top-tier programs<br />

with the most money will now be<br />

able to “buy” players. Recruiting will<br />

become free agency, and the transfer<br />

portal will go wild. But at the end<br />

of the day, it’s not about the viewers<br />

and fans.<br />

We should not get to determine<br />

what these student-athletes should<br />

or should not make just because it<br />

will tarnish our enjoyment of the<br />

game. <strong>The</strong>y have worked their entire<br />

lives to create this opportunity for<br />

themselves, and they should be able<br />

to reap the benefits to the last dollar.

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